Irena Klepfisz

Klepfisz was born in the
Warsaw Ghetto and was 2 years old during the Warsaw ghetto uprising. Her father was killed on the second day of uprising. Klepfisz escaped with her mother to the Polish countryside where they survived the Second World War by hiding and concealing their Jewish identities. Irena and her mother moved to the United States in 1949.

Irena Klepfisz received a Ph.D. in English in 1970. She has taught English, Yiddish, and Women's Studies and currently teaches at Barnard College.Today Klepfisz is known as a Yiddishist. She is well-known for her translations of Yiddish poets Kadya Molodowsky, and Fradl Shtok. Irena Klepfisz was a member of Di Vilde Chayes (English: The Wild Beasts), A Jewish feminist group that examined and responded to political issues in the Middle East, as well as to antisemitism.

Klepfisz began publishing her poems in 1971. She was a founding editor of Conditions, a feminist magazine emphasizing the writing of lesbians, and also was the co-editor of The Tribe of Dina: A Jewish Women's Anthology. She has also been a contributor to the Jewish feminist magazine Bridges.
Irena Klepfisz recorded the dedications from her poem Bashert for inclusion in the music of the Szymon Project CD which will be published by Six Gallery Press.